The fleet finds another ship out in the black, the Pegasus; at first it’s all hearts and flowers and good wishes, but as soon as Admiral Cain officially takes over, some dark moments from the Pegasus’s journey resurface.
A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.
Just a note upfront: I usually always watch the extended cut of “Pegasus,” but the aired version is just as good, the big difference being that in the aired version, Tyrol and Helo stop Thorne before he rapes Sharon, and here they stop him in the middle, but they are both A+ episodes (this will not be the case with “Unfinished Business” down the road).
Whew, what a doozy of an episode. At this point in our rewatch, I can say unequivocally that this is the darkest the show has gone (and for a series that opened with a genocide, that’s saying something).
You would think by now the fleet has learned that all good things that happen to them have a bitter aftertaste, but they haven’t quite given up hope. They welcome the Pegasus fleet into their family, but instead of more survivors to enrich their lives, they get a group of moral-free soldiers whose only goal is to payback the Cylons for what’s been lost.
At the front of this group stands Admiral Cain, a warrior in every way. She’s fierce, protective of her crew and completely unwilling to bend her view of the world. She’s a monster for sure, but kudos to the writers for giving her character more depth than that.
“Razor” will cover a lot of her sins in more detail, but the short version is that her post-attack world is the road-not-taken for Adama. Way back in the miniseries, he had a moment where he could have picked her way, abandoned the civilians and fought the Cylons in a war he could not win. He thought about it, he was going to do it, but Roslin and her pragmatic words convinced him to give up their home worlds and find a new place to start over.
Cain choose to fight the impossible fight; she stripped away everything that made her human and she and her crew became killing machines. They found an infiltrator and beat and raped her for betraying them; they murdered civilians who didn’t want to become one of them; Cain killed her best friend and first officer for not agreeing to order men on a suicide mission.
It’s insane, but if your only goal is to eradicate the enemy, the losses don’t matter after a while, which makes the situation with Tyrol and Helo a bit tricky.
They walked in on one of Cain’s men raping their beloved Sharon Valerii; they were protecting her, and one Lt. Thorne ended up dead. Cain has them brought to the Pegasus, and she convicts them of treason and sentences them to die.
She’s not wrong here; the rules say she can do this, Tyrol and Helo both took oaths to uphold those rules, and they are guilty.
But she is wrong; she is so focused on maintaining the present, military rules, she doesn’t see that with just 50,000 humans left, she must protect all of them (something Roslin will have to re-learn in the next few years).
Her shortsightedness will be her downfall, in the form of her Cylon lover Gina.
Gina is a Cylon like every other Cylon; she had a mission, she completed it, but she was captured and tortured for no reason other than to torture her. The Fleet will pay the price for what they did to her later on (her veneagance will last longer than she would have ever imagined), but seeing Baltar’s reaction to her, I can see why he chose the Cylon side for a while. This was the one arc where I actually thought well of him; the Pegasus humans are not worth siding with.
But somewhere in that fleet is Kendra Shaw, Cain’s legacy, and she’s probably still convinced their choices were the right ones. She keeps repeating that mantra at night, in hopes the nightmares will stay away. Soon, she’ll see how the other side handled the end of the world, and she will weep for all of her Pegasus family, Cain included. Her actions will save them all.
Next up: “Resurrection Ship, Part One”